Poll: Red light cameras cruising to victory, drainage fee going down

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by Doug Miller / 11 News

khou.com

Posted on October 29, 2010 at 5:10 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 29 at 5:48 PM

HOUSTON -- A new poll taken as Houston voters cast early ballots indicates the city’s red light camera program will cruise to victory, but the proposed drainage fee will probably go down the drain.

The 11 News –KUHF Houston Public Radio poll revealed 55 percent of surveyed voters favor keeping red light cameras while 36 percent want to abolish them.  Another 8 percent were unsure.

But the poll looks bad for supporters of the drainage fee.  More than half of surveyed voters – 56 percent -- oppose the plan, with only 29 percent favoring it.  The results indicate the proposal will fail even if all the voters who aren’t sure about the issue – 14 percent in this survey – decide to vote for it.

Indeed, 63 percent of voters who say they’re casting their ballots next week oppose the drainage fee.  And the opposition is spread throughout the political spectrum.

"Liberals and African-Americans in particular are opposed to this," said Bob Stein, the Rice University political scientist who conducted the survey.  "So are Hispanics.  But also, so are conservative Republicans. "

A third proposition receiving little attention also appears to have little voter support.  Proposition 2 would change the residency requirements for city council members only for the 2011 city elections.  The idea is to allow sitting council members and other candidates time to switch residencies after two new council districts are created and district lines are redrawn. 

The arcane proposition has received very little attention or news coverage, but it seems most voters still oppose it.  The poll indicates 62 percent of voters are opposed to it, while only 17 percent favor it.  Another 20 percent are unsure.

The survey of 437 likely voters – 56 percent of whom had already voted – was conducted October 26 – 28 by the Center for Civic Engagement at Rice University.  Political scientist Bob Stein supervised the survey.

While Houston is predominantly Democratic, the poll indicates Republicans are turning out in extremely high numbers inside Houston’s city limits.  Early voting places in traditionally-Republican neighborhoods have been unusually busy, and this poll offers further evidence that GOP candidates will do especially well this election year.

Stein speculates Republicans may actually outvote Democrats in Houston. 

"We’re finding that early voters, at least, are decidedly more Republican," Stein said.  "Not overwhelmingly, it’s not a majority.  But they’re outpolling their Democratic counterparts by nine or 10 points."

Proposition 1

There are several propositions on the ballot.  How do you plan to vote – or how did you vote – on the proposal to allow the City of Houston to charge each household a monthly fee dedicated to improving Houston’s drainage and streets.

For ……………………….. 29%

Against ………………….. 56%

Unsure …………………. 14%

Proposition 2

How do you plan to vote – or how did you vote – on the proposal to change the residency requirement from one year to six months for City of Houston district council members for only the 2011 election?

For …………………………... 17%

Against ……………………..  62%

Unsure …………………….  20%

Proposition 3

How do you plan to vote – or how did you vote – to keep or to abolish the City of Houston’s red light camera program?

Keep …………………..……. 55%

Abolish …………………..... 36%

Unsure …………………..…8%

 

 

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